Rob Manfred Says Current Term Will Be His Last as MLB Commissioner

Unless you’re a team owner, Rob Manfred isn’t the most beloved man in baseball. Those who haven’t reaped the rewards of skyrocketing revenues and franchise values don’t care much for the commissioner who’s been stewarding Major League Baseball for the last decade, but an end of his reign is in sight. As Manfred told The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, he’s going to step down at the conclusion of his current deal.

“You can only have so much fun in one lifetime. I have been open with them (the owners) about the fact that this is going to be my last term.”

The only bad news for those of you who are about to pop bottles is that said term runs through 2029, during which time Manfred can still do plenty of damage. If, that is, you view his tenure as damaging. While baseball can’t seem to get out of its own way most of the time — the same can be said for the Cubs in many cases — the fact that so many cities and potential ownership groups are lining up for expansion teams tells us it’s still a viable business model.

Then again, many feel that the game’s soul is taking an even bigger hit than the average family’s wallet when it comes to attending a Cubs game. Just depends on your perspective, I guess. Manfred serves at the behest of the owners, not the fans, so it really doesn’t matter what we think about the job he’s done. So until the league finds itself in serious peril, which even the recent lockout didn’t seem to create, the commissioner will be lauded by those he answers to.

I’m still skeptical about Theo Epstein’s desire to take the gig, but I’m guessing he’ll be discussed early and often as a potential successor. After all, he was working with the league office for a while prior to rejoining the Red Sox. It sure would be nice to have someone in the role who doesn’t seem to actively hate baseball.

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